ADA, Ohio — Ryan Bruns posted 33 points and eight rebounds as the Polar Bears handed Denison men's basketball an 86-66 loss on Saturday afternoon at the ONU Sports Center in Ada.
Despite trailing by as many as six points in the first half, the Big Red connected on six threes in the opening period, including back-to-back perimeter jumpers from Claude Chandonnet and Jake Livingston to cut the Ohio Northern lead to 29-27 at the 3:29 mark.
With 33 seconds to play in the first half, Freeman Brou tallied a three-pointer that lowered the DU deficit to 38-35. Denison looked to make it a one-score game heading to intermission, but Bruns finished a layup at the buzzer for two of his 15 first-half points as the Big Red trailed ONU 40-35 at the break.
In the second half, Ohio Northern built their lead to 12, 49-37, after Daniel Donner and Bruns, buried consecutive jumpers, but five-straight points from Freeman Brou cut the DU deficit back to single digits, 49-42, with less than 16 minutes to play.
Over the next 4:58 of action, the Polar Bears went on a 15-9 scoring run, led by 11 combined points from Bruns and Ty Staten to increase their over Denison to 64-51. After Chandonnet answered with his second three of the game, ONU went on a 10-0 scoring run that the Big Red were unable to recover from as they suffered their second loss of the season. The Polar Bears moved to 2-0 on the year.
Freeman Brou led DU with 10 points and tied for the team lead with six rebounds. Matt Doyle, Matt Gerics, and Alex Meurer each added eight points each, while Chandonnet and Conor Fenton each chipped in six points.
Bruns' 33 points was a season-high for the senior, and ONU also received double-digit nights from Staten (10) and Austin Allemeier (12).
Denison will return to Livingston Gymnasium on Tuesday, November 20 when they host Case Western Reserve at 8 p.m.